Friday, Oct. 25, 2013

Have a safe day!

Friday, Oct. 25

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Marcelle Soares-Santos, Fermilab
Title: Early Results from DES

Monday, Oct. 28

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - WH6W
Speaker: Ramin Skibba, University of California, San Diego
Title: The Evolution of Galaxy Clustering as a Function of Luminosity and Color

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: LBNE Photon Detector R&D Tests at PAB; SuperCDMS Report

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Oct. 25

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Teriyaki chicken breast
- Smart cuisine: white-fish florentine
- Southern fried chicken
- Baked ham and Swiss ciabatta
- Seafood paella
- Clam chowder
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Oct. 25

Wednesday, Oct. 30
- Chicken satay
- Jasmine rice
- Sauteed pea pods
- Coconut cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Terri Shaw, electrical engineer

Terri Shaw is an electrical engineer in the Particle Physics Division. Photo: Reidar Hahn

How long have you been at Fermilab?
Almost 30 years. I started as a co-op student in 1981 in the Accelerator Division. I liked it so much I applied for a permanent position when I graduated in '85. I started in the Particle Instrumentation Group of the Research Division, working for CDF.

What is a typical day for you like?
I don't always know what I'm going to do each day; it depends on what is the highest priority. The last project I worked on was the Dark Energy Survey. That involved a lot of travel to Chile and the installation of the camera down there. Now I am a project engineer for the LBNE far detector. I do a lot of planning, trying to coordinate the initial testing for some of the prototypes. I have meetings to attend and phone conversations, collaborating with university groups that are involved, making sure we get things to work in the end. The rest of my time is spent working for the CMS upgrade. I never come in and find myself bored.

How did you get interested in this type of work?
I grew up in the New Lenox area. When I was in high school, I remember some people coming in from the Illinois Institute of Technology on career day to talk about engineering. I like science and I like math, so engineering sounded like the perfect match for me. I went to the University of Illinois, and while there I basically fell in love with that field of study. I just kept on that path.

What is the best part of your job?
I enjoy facing new and different challenges with the different projects that I've worked on. Having mentally challenging, interesting work is what's kept me here all these years. My projects have constantly changed in scope and I've been able to gain and acquire new knowledge along the way.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
I like to read, hike and visit my kids. Two of my children just started graduate school; one is studying biomedical engineering and one is studying mechanical engineering. My third daughter is a math teacher and lives here in Illinois.

Sarah Witman

Photo of the Day

Snake on a (vertical) plane

Fermilab staff spotted this 18-inch-long fox snake in the NuMI pre-target area, which is about 130 feet underground. The snake was on the cavern wall 4 feet above the floor. With glove-protected hands, AD's Tony Busch removed the snake and gently placed it in a bag. The staff returned it to the tall grass of the surface. Photo: Tony Busch, AD
In the News

Final word is near on dark-matter signal

From Nature, Oct. 22, 2013

Viewed end on, the arrays of photomulti­plier tubes on the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment look like beds of flowers. The hope is that they will capture sparks of light emitted when particles of dark matter collide with liquid xenon. With 122 detector tubes, LUX is much more sensitive than its closest rival in the competitive field of dark-matter searches — and in just days, physicists the world over will know whether that advantage has yielded definitive results.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

The geometry of particle decays

The decay pictured above results in two pairs of particles: a kaon with a pion and two muons. There is a lot of information in the opening angle of each pair and in the angle between the planes that pass through each pair.

Many of the analyses we present in these columns are fundamentally simple. The experiments are difficult to perform, requiring record-setting beam energies, magnetic fields, computing resources and a lot of hard work, but the goal is easy to explain: find the new particle or prove that it does not exist.

In this article, I'd like to present one of the more subtle analyses, a study of angular distributions from a chain of particle decays. The particles involved are well-known, and the decay (a B meson to an excited kaon and two muons) was first observed 10 years ago. What makes this analysis interesting is that there is so much information in the trajectories of the final particles. Undiscovered physics, such as supersymmetry, could influence the way that the B meson disintegrates, resulting in a modified pattern of particle trajectories. Without paying close attention to these distributions, scientists could miss an important hint of the exotic hiding in the mundane.

Precision measurements are further complicated by the fact that particles decay with random trajectories, like fireworks. But even fireworks have patterns and structure. A firework that explodes from a stand-still bursts symmetrically, like a rose, while a firework that explodes while still rocketing upward results in a funnel of final particle trajectories. With a careful record of a hundred random fireworks, you could learn a lot about their internal dynamics.

The fireworks analogy would be directly applicable to inferring a particle's mass from its decay, but a recent paper from CMS studies two additional influences on the shape of the decay. One is the polarization of the excited kaon. In much the same way that light can be polarized horizontally or vertically, particles can be polarized, and the polarization of a decaying particle determines how well its remnants align (on average) with its original axis of motion. Another is the forward-backward asymmetry of the muons: how often they continue in the direction of motion of the B meson and how often they fly backward.

This particular decay has four final state particles (the excited kaon decays into a charged kaon and a pion, plus the two muons makes four), and all of the effects described above are happening simultaneously, with some randomness sprinkled in. Nature would be truly devious to hide evidence of a profound discovery in such a complicated setting, but this has never stopped her before.

Jim Pivarski

The physicists pictured above performed this analysis of angular distributions in B0 to K0*, μ, μ.
Sonya Wright has joined the team of administrative professionals who ensure that the CMS Center and the LHC Physics Center operate smoothly.

Today's New Announcements

Message regarding Windows 8.1

Fermilab Family Halloween Party - today

English country Halloween dance with live music at Kuhn Barn - Oct. 27

Deadline for Wilson Fellowship application - Nov. 1

Office of Science's Patricia Dehmer speaks at UChicago - Nov. 5

Heartland Fermilab walk-in blood drive - Nov. 5 and 6

Stars of Dance Chicago - Fermilab Arts Series - Nov. 9

Physics Slam 2013 - Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series - Nov. 15

Lepton flavor violation course in lecture series

Microsoft Office e-book available

Donate winter wear for Fermilab Coat Exchange

Money just got cheaper

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle

Scottish country dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Tuesday evenings

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey discounts

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.